Can one stand for what is right and at the same time not stand against what is wrong? Some think so and are taking no outward stand against error while they harbor an inward loyalty to truth. We have a generation of preachers who cannot stand the spotlight of disdain, so they take a nothing negative, nothing controversial, stance in the pulpit. This “for nothing” and “against nothing” mania is not a for-the-Lord position (Matt. 12:30). We sing, “Who is on the Lord’s side, Master, here am I,” not realizing that a “here am I” is involved and requires a commitment. If Elijah were to stand in our midst today he would cry aloud: “How long halt you between two opinions!”
Preaching of the Word of God requires that the heart be touched, the conscience pricked, that men be built up and that there be a “root up and destroy” evil, error and untruth thrust. Simply said, it is time we did some stepping on toes regardless of the cries of horror. If we are true to the Book, we will do it! Can one preach the whole counsel and do less? I think not (2 Tim. 4:1-6; Acts 20:27)!
When will we learn that one cannot stand for what is right and be passive for what is wrong? King David stood for what is right even in his personal imperfections. He acknowledged his sins, sought forgiveness and cried, “I hate every false way” (Psa. 119:104). He could not be for what was right while not being against what was wrong. If we are what we claim to be, we today will cease trying to stand for truth and be passive regarding error at the same time. We must deal with the negative and the controversial, whatever be the cost. The principle of warning the wicked of the error of his way is as true today as it ever has been (Ezek. 3:18-19). How can a gospel preacher hold his peace and find rest while attempting to middle-the-road it?
According to Judges, the people Israel had forsaken God and were chastened by Him. Jabin, king of Canaan had sent forth his army under Sisera to do battle against Israel. In penitence Israel cried out unto God and He gave them victory under Barak. But the people of Meroz; took no part in the conflict. They could have helped Israel with a telling effect. In assigning a reason for the curse of the inhabitants of Meroz the Bible says: “Because they came not to the help of Jehovah, to the help of Jehovah against the mighty.” They had refused to help God’s people and this amounted to refusing to help God. Some of God’s people today are fighting for their spiritual lives and there are hordes of brethren who come not to their aid. James says, “To him therefore that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17). Whenever preachers are able to minister to the weakest of congregations and do it not, we fail to minister to God and His Son (Matt. 25:40). Again, I ask, how can we do nothing? How can we be indifferent and inactive? The inhabitants of Meroz were cursed for doing nothing! How much more are we?
God wants us to be watchful and to guard against all error and wrong doing is obvious to all who know and accept the Scriptures. The need for watchfulness is greater than ever (Rev. 3:2; 1 Tim. 6:20). Away with the babblings about “keepers of orthodoxy,” “guardians” and “negativism.” We are to be guardians and keepers of truth (Phil. 1:17). There are those who will criticize you for doing so, but they are oblivious to their self-contradiction as they criticize critics, judge those who pronounce righteous judgment, and guard against those who would guard truth and right.
The cry is that none are righteous enough to preach righteousness, yet God left His perfect Word in the hands of imperfect men. Every imperfect preacher who is worth his weight must preach this perfect gospel and perfect doctrine of Christ without wavering. Yes, even preachers learn from their own sermons and must put themselves in align with the truth less they also be reprobates and lose their eternal soul. (Rom 2:21,22 f; 1 Cor 9:27) Are you against the wrong and for the right? Or do you go along with the crowd? Most of us stand for something, but what do we oppose? Will we continue to do nothing about the ills in the church?
This lesson is for all of us, preachers, teachers and listeners alike. If we don’t stand for the truth of God, we stand for nothing at all!